Cage 759

Arthur D. Martinson

Papers, 1886-1989

Acquisition And Processing Information

Arthur D. Martinson donated his papers to Washington State University in 2010 (MS 2010-31). The collection was processed that year by Susan Vetter.

Extent/Quantity Information

Number of containers: 2

Linear feet of shelf space: 1


Arthur D. Martinson (born 1933) received his undergraduate degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1957 and then earned both his master's (1961) and doctoral degrees (1966) in History from Washington State University. His master's thesis, "The Influence of the Longmire Family upon the Early History of Mount Rainier National Park," and doctoral dissertation, "Mountain in the Sky: A History of Mount Rainier National Park," established the foundation for Martinson's lifelong interest in the history of that park.

Martinson returned to Pacific Lutheran University, joining the faculty of the History Department. He served for thirty-three years until his retirement in 1999, and then continued to teach as emeritus faculty. Martinson had worked for the National Park Service during his student years, and after he became a faculty member he continued that employment during the summers, first at Mount Rainier and later at North Cascades National Park. Combining his enthusiasm for backcountry activities (such as scaling Mount Rainier four times) with his scholarly work, Martinson published articles about Mount Rainier's history in Forest History Newsletter (1966), American West (1971), and Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History (1989) as well as the book Wilderness above the Sound: The Story of Mount Rainier National Park (Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Press, 1986; 2nd ed., Niwot, CO: Roberts Rinehart, 1994).

Collection Description

The Arthur D. Martinson papers center on Martinson's lifelong research into the history of Mount Rainier National Park (MORA, the National Park Service identifier code for the park, is used hereafter). Established in 1899, Mount Rainier became the nation's fifth national park. Unlike Yellowstone, which benefited from advocacy at a national level, Mount Rainier's park status depended on the persistent campaign of residents of the young state. Mount Rainier became the first national park created from lands already designated as forest reserves. The reclamation of Northern Pacific Railroad Company holdings to unify park land under federal ownership set an important precedent for future national parks.

The collection consists of correspondence, notes, a map, photographs, promotional brochures and posters for MORA, and unpublished manuscripts. Some items are reproductions. In addition to the Mount Rainier material, the collection also includes correspondence from Martinson's cousin Lute Jerstad during the latter's 1963 successful ascent of Mount Everest (the first by an American expedition), an 1890 commemorative pamphlet, printed on fabric, for the Tacoma Hotel, and early twentieth century correspondence (found by Martinson in North Cascades National Park Complex) from Lewis Weaver to Daisie Wright.

Collection Arrangement

The materials are organized in a single series, retaining Martinson's arrangement.

Separated Material

Nine print items were separated for individual cataloging.


Martinson, A. D. -- Archives
Mount Rainier National Park (Wash.) -- History


This collection is open and available for research use. Copyright restrictions apply.

Preferred Citation

The suggested citation for the collection is:

[Item Description]
Arthur D. Martinson Papers, 1886-1989
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
Pullman, WA

Related Materials

Arthur D. Martinson papers, 1961 (Cage 3054). This collection includes materials related to Martinson's master's thesis about the Longmire family's influence on the early history of Mount Rainier National Park.

Location Note (Masc Staff Use)

Folder 11 is located in oversize (map case).


Materials are in English.

Container List:

Box Folder Description
1 1-3 "The Mountain: A History of Mount Rainier National Park," Martinson's unpublished interpretive history of the park completed in the early 1970s, and later adapted into his book Wilderness above the Sound: The Story of Mount Rainier National Park.
  4-5 Collected materials about Mount Rainier National Park (MORA). Includes 150-page unpublished manuscript, "Record of Rainier National Park Company Operations: 1916-1961" by H.E. Osborn (1961); assorted memoranda and resolutions regarding 1949 negotiations between the National Park Service (NPS) and Rainier National Park Company concerning the company's continued contract to operate in MORA; 1965 correspondence from Paul Sceva, President and General Manager of Rainier National Park Company, to Martinson regarding the relationship between NPS and the company; notes from Martinson's interview of Sceva, 1967 December 13.
  6 Promotional literature: various promotional posters and fliers for MORA for railroad advertising (photographic reproductions); Rainier National Park Company pamphlet, 1928.
  7 Published articles by Martinson, 1966-1989.
  8 Correspondence received regarding research on Mount Rainier. Includes letters received by Martinson in response to inquiries about MORA, 1965, and letters from the Darius Kinney Collection regarding Darius Kinney stereo photographs of MORA, 1975.
  9 Letter from T.W. Lynn to an unidentified recipient regarding family memories of early visits to Mount Rainier (copy), 1970.
  10 Reports about climbing tragedies on Mount Rainier; 1924, 1929.
  11 Map of Mount Rainier National Park produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1910 revision of a 1906 map). [Location note: oversize case]
  12 Documents about MORA landscape uses, circa 1890s-1930s, including President Benjamin Harrison's Pacific Forest Reserve proclamation, 1893, and correspondence regarding Mount Rainier (copies), 1886-1937.
  13 "A Celebration of Mount Rainier," special editions of The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA) on Mount Rainier, 1999 February 28 and March 28.
  14 Postcards with images of Mount Rainier, circa 1900-1920.
  15 Longmire family documents: correspondence to Martinson from members of Longmire family; Elcaine Longmire letter (copy), 1904; photograph of standing Longmire cabin inside MORA boundary.
  16 MORA photographs of roads, bridges, and entrances. Includes MORA memorandum regarding park headquarters, 1937, and MORA chronology of Stephen Mather Parkway, 1952.
2 17 Photographs of 1947 and 1955 floods, and NPS report on the great 1947 Kautz Creek flood.
  18 Photographs of Paradise Inn, opened in 1917.
  19 Photographs of Mount Rainier: views of the mountain from different locations in the park.
  20 Photographs of people, including hikers and climbers, in MORA.
  21 Photographs of camping and lodging in MORA: includes letter from P.B. Van Trump (early climber of Mount Rainier) to H. B. McElroy, 1900 July 20 (copy).
  22 Promotional brochures about Mount Rainier, 1955-1977.
  23 Miscellaneous photographs of Mount Rainier park locations.
  24 Photograph of the Tacoma Hotel, and commemorative pamphlet printed on fabric, 1890.
  25 "Mount Rainier and the National Park Crisis Following World War Two." Unpublished paper by Martinson, presented to the Annual Conference of the Western History Association, New Haven, CT, 1972 October 11-14.
  26 NPS-related personal correspondence received by Martinson. Includes letters from Horace M. Albright, an early NPS official who became the second Director of the National Park Service (1929-1933), 1974; letters from Donald C. Swain, biographer of Albright; and letters from others connected with MORA or with national park history.
  27 Research notes compiled by Martinson during doctoral dissertation research.
  28 Letter from mountaineer Lute Jerstad during his Mount Everest expedition, 1963 April 23 (color copy).
  29 Weaver correspondence (Stehekin, WA). Includes copies of letters found by Martinson in North Cascades National Park Complex, written to Daisie Wright from Lewis Weaver (1908-1909).
    Processing file.